Posts Tagged ‘RBI’

Weekly Update 19th – 23rd July 2010

The concerns over recovery in global economy resurfaced in investors mind as China economy grew 10.3 percent in the second quarter showing moderation from 11.9 percent expansion in the first quarter. In U.S., consumer confidence dropped in July to the lowest level in the year to 66.5 from 76 in previous month and factory output too fell by 0.4 percent in June.

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The minutes released by the office of the Federal Reserve said that “The economic outlook had softened somewhat and a number of members saw the risks to the outlook as having shifted to the downside”. The statement and weak data only added to the worries and led to the decline in most of the global markets.

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India’s Industrial Production growth came surprisingly low to 11.5 percent in May from a year earlier and the April growth was revised downward to 16.5 percent from 17.6 percent. It is expected that the Industrial Production will remain close to double digits as some of the leading indicators like vehicle sales remained buoyant in June.

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Keeping a vigil on the liquidity and in order to ensure smooth credit lines for both government and corporate to sustain the growth momentum, RBI has further extended the second liquidity adjustment facility (SLAF) on a daily basis till July 30, 2010. Strong credit growth in Banking system and Industrial production together with high food inflation may influence RBI to raise policy rates by another 25 bps in its first quarter review on 27th July.

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The latest statement by the IMD that the monsoon up to 15 July has so far been 14 percent below the long period average is a cause of concern.July, especially being the most important month for sowing the Kharif crops has led to the alteration of earlier beliefs that going ahead food inflation will moderate.

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Mostly world markets are in downtrend though Indian stock market is still in uptrend. The base metal commodities are not able to rise which is showing the underlying uncertainty in the markets. One should be cautious in such markets.

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Nifty has support between 5280-5220 levels and Sensex between 17600-17400 levels.Indian markets have gone up substantially in last one and half month and dollar index has fallen sharply from higher levels but the Indian rupee has not moved much which is a sign of concern as rupee should have strengthened in such an environment.

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Lack of clarity with reference to the direction of world economy is painting a hazy picture for commodity market. Even uncertain outcome of economic releases and result of second quarter is giving little direction to the commodities. Investors are refraining to make large position in current situation. This week, we have important data form UK and Canada. Housing data can give further direction to base metals. Bullions can trade in a slim spread. Expiry of July contract in NCDEX may result in more volatility in all agro commodities. After witnessing a multi week high some spices may see a pause in rally.

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Weekly Update 5th – 9th July 2010

The global markets fell in the week gone by as the manufacturing growth exhibited weakness from China to U.S. The investor’s across the globe became nervous with the fading signs of global recovery. G20 leaders said that the limited demand in advanced economies has left the world reliant on emerging markets, led by China, to drive a recovery is “uneven and fragile.”

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China’s manufacturing growth slowed more than expected in June adding to the concerns that the fastest- growing major economy is cooling. The government’s Purchasing Managers’ Index declined to 52.1 from 53.9 in May. In the U.S., manufacturing slowed in June with the cooling demand from rest of the world.

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The Institute for Supply Management’s gauge of manufacturing fell to 56.2 from 59.7 a month earlier.

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As anticipated in our last two editions, RBI raised the policy rates i.e. Repurchase and Reverse Repurchase rate by 25 bps taking it to 5.50 percent and 4 percent respectively as a part of the calibrated exit from the expansionary monetary policy. The strong growth shown by manufacturing sector especially capital goods sector, acceleration in credit growth and the widening current account deficit helped RBI to take such a step in order to anchor inflationary expectations going forward. In order to address the liquidity situation which is currently in deficit mode under LAF operations, RBI allowed banks to borrow to 0.5 per cent of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) even in case of a shortfall in maintenance of statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) till July 16, 2010.

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The expectation of hike in policy rates by RBI was very much priced in and will not have any bearing effect on the stock markets. However expecting good monsoon, the market was in the belief that inflation will come down in the months to come. But the recent numbers from IMD suggests a relook as so far the monsoon was 16 percent below normal in June 2010.

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Indian stock markets were holding on when all the world stock markets are falling but one should be very cautious when world markets are falling so much as Banking and IT sector are showing some weakness. Nifty has support between 5200-5100 levels and Sensex between 17300-17000 levels.

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Gone was wholly a brutal week for commodities. After the fourth quarter of 2008, first time commodities witnessed quarterly decline. Even the topmost hot favorite of investors gold and dollar index toppled down as money manager’s shifted their attentions towards euro, which saw a decent rise last week. Poor economic data’s in a row further pave the path for selling. At present one should wait for the clear trend. Base metals and energy have already seen a steep decline, may trade in a range for the time being. Similar story is of gold and silver.

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RBI hikes policy rates by 25 bps, surprises on timing

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the post market hours on Friday evening hiked its benchmark policy rates repo and reverse repo by 25 basis points (bps) in order to check the surging pace of price hike and cushion inflationary expectations which have been threatening to move out of central bank’s control.

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The hike while was well anticipated, the timing of the announcement was an absolute surprise. Analysts have been anticipating a mid-cycle hike right from the release of central bank’s annual monetary policy statement in April. However, the euro zone sovereign debt crisis and the recent liquidity crunch have been weighing on the side of keeping status quo on policy stance.

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The expectations of a mid-cycle action increased after the inflation data released in middle of May showed wholesale prices index (WPI) reaching double digit levels. The RBI however remained silent. Again when the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) hiked fuel prices on June 25, analysts expected RBI to act immediately to counter the inflationary impact of partial deregulation of auto fuels and hike cocking fuels. No action however came at that time.

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Now that the scheduled review is just around four weeks away (July 27), most economists were expecting that the RBI will wait for the policy review. However, surprising the markets in a classical way, the central bank increased the rates when no one was anticipating.

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Notwithstanding the surprise though, the policy action is a welcome move as inflationary tendencies have been increasing sharply over last few months. The central bank, according to many observers, is already behind the curve, and may have to pick up the pace of policy tightening going forward if the pace of prices hike in the non-food manufacturing space continues.

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The timing and extent of hike also suggests that the central bank will further raise policy rates in the scheduled review. In fact, by hiking by 25 bps now, the RBI has given itself more flexibility for the forthcoming review where it can now choose among a number of permutations and combinations of policy and reserve rate mix. It may choose to hike everything (repo, reverse repo and CRR) by 25 bps or may leave CRR alone and hike policy rates by 50 bps. A few other combinations are also plausible.

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Justifying the initial delay in policy action and the actual timing of the move, the RBI stated, “This mid-cycle policy action has been warranted by the evolving macroeconomic situation. Even as data for real GDP growth and WPI inflation became available by mid-June 2010, it was considered inadvisable to raise the policy rates as the financial system was dealing with liquidity pressures…Through the month of June, liquidity under LAF operations remained in deficit mode. Consequently, the call rate moved up significantly, resulting in an effective tightening at the short end of the yield curve. The liquidity situation has since begun to ease”.

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Since the RBI expects that liquidity may continue to remain tight for some time, it has also extended the additional liquidity support to scheduled commercial banks under the LAF to the extent of up to 0.5% of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) up to July 16, 2010. The measure was first put in place on May 26 after liquidity scenario tightened following the advance tax outgo and huge payments for the 3G spectrum by telecom operators and was earlier set to expire on July 2, 2010.

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While the two moves may seem contradictory, the RBI didn’t leave the matter to be explained by analysts and added in its statement, “It should be noted in this context that the liquidity easing measures have become necessary to manage what is essentially a temporary and unanticipated development. In no way should they be viewed as inconsistent with the monetary policy stance of calibrated exit, which remains focused on containing inflation and anchoring inflationary expectations without hurting growth”.

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Weekly Update 28th June – 2nd July

China’s central bank move to increase flexibility in yuan against the dollar pushed global markets higher with the onset of the week. The optimism for the demand of commodities rose as the move is expected to increase Chinese consumers demand with the rise in purchasing power. Thereafter, the worrisome news flow from both U.S. & Europe only gave weakness to the markets.

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Disappointing earnings forecast by U.S. companies reignited the growth concerns in the market during the week. Fed policy makers left the overnight interbank lending rate target unchanged in a range of zero to 0.25 percent. Fed echoed that low inflation, stable price expectations and high unemployment “are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.”

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It said the U.S. recovery is progressive but not strengthening and “Financial conditions have become less supportive of economic growth on balance, largely reflecting developments abroad.” Concerns also rose about solvency position of both U.K. and Global banks. Bank of England said that U.K. banks remain “vulnerable” to further writedowns on their assets because of a potential decline in investor appetite for risk. Overall investors are circumspect of the global recovery and are not sure whether the austerity plan by various government will lead to economic prosperity.

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The Indian government now seems to be batting its second innings in power by working on many reforms that were in its agenda for long time. On the recommendations of Kirit Parekh committee, the government decided to go ahead by linking petrol prices to market linked prices & giving Rs. 2/-, Rs. 3/- & Rs. 35/- hike in diesel, kerosine & LPG prices respectively. The long awaited step is expected to cool down the burgeoning under-recoveries of OMC’s & will help consequently in lowering the fiscal deficit. As per our estimates the said increase will accentuate inflation by close to 0.50%. The move that was quite necessary from the long term perspective may put some pressure on the Equity & Bond Markets. As we are already facing high inflation & are on mercy of good monsoon, the step is likely to increase worries. We expect now, with the robust manufacturing activity & clear signs of demand pull inflation the next step may come soon from the monetary body by hiking policy rates. The move may lead to some correction in the capital markets & bond prices may fall.

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Trend of Indian stock markets is up though U.S. and other markets is down which is giving rise to volatility here. Even dollar index is taking some reaction which might give some relief rally to metals in coming week. Nifty has support between 5200- 5100 levels and Sensex between 17300-17000 levels.

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Notwithstanding the doubt over the health of world economy, especially U.S. and Europe, commodity is reacting optimistically on every small news and statements.

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CRB index is going through a consolidation phase; any positive news can result in good upside. Two factors; flattish dollar index amid strong Asian economic growth accompanied by commodity demand can keep commodity on stronger side. In past seven months dollar index has rallied around 20%, the move was not showing the inner strength of dollar, rather it was majorly due to European debt crisis and safe haven demand. If we see rangebound to bearish movements in dollar index again it will boost up commodities prices. However, we can see some correction in between, but that should be considered as good buying opportunity.

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Weekly Update 21st – 25th June

Global markets saw synchronized gains of more than two percent this week except China’s Shanghai Composite Index which closed in the negative. The recent measures that were taken in China to cool down the economy like larger down payment for home buyers and increase in reserve requirements for banks seems to have started showing its effects as reflected by the weakening demand for construction metals like Nickel pig iron. Asset price bubble concerns rose after property prices in China rose by 12.4 percent in May.

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China Banking Regulatory Commission said that risks associated with home mortgages are growing and a “chain effect” may reappear in real-estate development loans. The economic restructuring in China has raised the possibility of resurgence in credit risks. The index of leading indicators in US, a gauge of the outlook for growth over the next three to six months, climbed 0.4 percent in May. It is viewed that the largest economy will continue expanding though at a moderate pace in the second half of the year without stoking inflation & creating fewer jobs. This would help the Federal Reserve in continuing with low interest policy for longer time. The European Union’s decision to publish the results of stress tests came after more than a year when U.S. published the results of stress tests on 19 financial institutions. The details of the tests including whether they include a sovereign debt restructuring is not yet disclosed by the European Union. However the step is welcomed by the investors as it will reveal the soundness of the European financial system.

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Coming back at home, as mentioned last week the possibility of hike in policy rates by RBI is gaining strength after Inflation accelerated to 10.16 percent in May giving concerns of generalized Inflation in the economy. Demand side pressures are quite evident now with the encouraging growth in Industrial production together with healthy growth in Exports and Imports. The European concerns that may have a bearing effect on the India’s trade and temporary liquidity squeeze in the Banking system has so far refrained the Banking regulator to continue its exit from an expansionary policy in a calibrated manner.

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Indian Stock Markets went up sharply last week and are looking much better but the problem it seems is with other world markets. It has to be seen whether the Indian markets are able to pull the other markets up or the weaker markets pull down India. Base metal commodities are not doing well though precious metals are all looking good. It seems volatility is likely to continue in such a scenario.

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Nifty has support between 5200-5100 levels and Sensex between 17300-17000 levels.

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Market players were enthralled with the captivating movements commodities noticed last week. Base metals and energy touched multi months low in the beginning of the week while second half of the week witnessed steep profit booking. Sideways congestion may be witnessed in commodities this week, as investors are endeavoring to figure out the next direction in commodities.

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However, the week is full of event risk and may trigger volatility in between.

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Many meets and high importance economic releases from US, UK and other nations are scheduled this week. Traders may refrain to create large position before FOMC meeting, which is scheduled on Wednesday.

RBI in Favour of Deregulating Savings Rate

Mr. K C Chakrabarty, Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said that RBI is also in support of deregulating savings bank deposit rates of banks.

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Mr. Chakrabarty said already a debate in this regard was held, but the decision will be taken after having adequate debate on the issue.

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He said that the savings bank rates are not likely to move in a wide range after the deregulation.

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He added at this highly competitive market scenario. Prices do not vary much, but what will be the rate, what customers will get, will depend on market conditions.

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Currently, the savings bank rate is at 3.5 % and is the only administered rate in the banking system as of now.

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The banks offer this rate to the savings bank customers, which form a major part of their low-cost deposit base.

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He said further that the RBI has started to deregulate administered interest rate from 1991 as a part of financial reforms.

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Weekly Update 14th – 18th June

The global Markets reacted in a negative fashion with the onset of the week due to concerns arising from small increase in non-farm payrolls in U.S. & default risk from Hungarian Economy. The investors concerns subsided after Germany factory orders surged for a second consecutive month in April.

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European debt crisis which has pushed down Euro 20 percent against the dollar seems to be helping the industry as the demand for goods from emerging economies like China is encouraging companies to add workers. Bernanke statement that the recovery is moderate-paced in U.S. further helped the market in recouping the losses. Although he said that Unemployment may remain high for some time. He also said that “We have right now a very accommodative, very easy monetary policy”. “We can’t wait until unemployment is where we’d like it to be” or inflation gets “out of control” to tighten credit, giving signals that hike in interest rate may come sooner.

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IMF is of the view that the risk to the growth has risen significantly and policy makers around the globe are left with little or no room to provide support to the growth. China surprised the markets as the economy withstood the European crisis after showing that exports grew close to 50 percent in the month of May from a year earlier and new loans were 630 billion Yuan ($92 billion), beating the expectations.

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In the monetary policy, Bank of England remained committed to the record low interest rates to stave off the threat of contagion from the euro region’s sovereign debt crisis. Coming back home, India’s Index of Industrial Production showed a significant growth of 17.6% compared to a year before. The seventh consecutive double digit growth complemented by double digit growth in capital goods & consumer durables may tempt RBI to raise interest rates with the Inflation hovering close to double digits. High inflation & more likely pick up in credit offtake due to strong Industrial Production activity may induce RBI to give signals to banks to raise the interest rates by making an increase in policy rates.

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Trend of world stock markets is still down though all markets took a sharp counterrally from lower levels. If the rally sustains this week, then we can say that temporarily they have made a bottom. But the fear of Euro zone would still linger on in the back of our mind. Nifty faces resistance between 5150-5180 levels and Sensex between 17200-17400 levels

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At present there are lots of opportunities for traders to take advantage of volatility in the commodity prices, but this is also the fact that money may not be consistently made on only one side. Last week, we saw a smart recovery in metals and energy complex while bullions fell. However, the movement was not so confident that we can say that downside is overdone and now we can see rally from the current levels. However, one can expect a gradual recovery in base metals prices. In bullions, rally may get tired but buying is still intact and any bad news can stimulate buying with limited upside. If positive data comes further as last week then base metals may see further recovery and vice a versa.

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